Thanks Joel! Great practice and I can certainly see it as a step in moving forward in teaching students skills in problem-solving in small manageable pieces in a way that they are encouraged by results and can identify issues in their own community. That is normally how it begins. It is also important for students to realize at some point in the process that some problems cannot be solved in their lifetime but they can still be involved in making the move toward the answer. Often, younger generations look for immediate gratification, however, here we are working toward changing a mindset of finding a major/occupation/career/lifework that taps into the passion or something that moves their heart.
The Starfish Story An old man is walking a beach in the early morning. He sees a young boy, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean. “Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” the man asks. “Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die,” the boy replied. “But, son, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all. Even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference.” The boy listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and hurled it spinning into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”
Israel, Very true! To often in education at any level we are very good at finding a student's deficiencies and providing resources to help fill the gap. Rarely do we help a student identify their strengths and build on them in identifying where they would benefit and be an asset.